Neighbors

by Jim Doss
Wild Poetry Forum
Second Place, October 2021
Judged by Donna Emerson


A boy is born into a great country
Twenty years pass
Now he is just a dead soldier
Almost unrecognizable in desert sands
The same boy who came to our rescue
Carrying a basket of peaches up the stairs
And two or three fell out
Tumbled down the steps
Their soft sounds mingling
With the everyday sounds of the world
And we watched him pause for a moment
To listen to the songs
Coming from the stone birdbath
The different pitch in each voice


This succinct portrait of a boy who became a soldier initially sounds simple and direct until the poem’s surprising center, when that boy “came to our rescue.” We see and hear the peaches tumbling. We watch the boy’s tender attention to the many voices of the birds outside. The poet’s skill with word choice and pacing slows us to a stop, a place of wonder and reflection. ---Donna Emerson

  • November 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Cycling Across t’Bridge
      by Ieaun ap Hywel
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Now Hear the Word of the Lord
      by Jim Zola
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Opening the Letter
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Help Wanted
      by Mary MacGowan
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Ode to a Hummingbird
      by RC James
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      Sizing Up
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

  • October 2021 Winners

    • First Place (Tie)

      Anna and the Scourge
      by RC James
      Babilu

      First Place (Tie)

      Mother Banana
      by Christina Vanthul
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Neighbors
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum